The first time I attended ITEC (Iowa Technology and Education Connection), I watched the presenters in awe. They were confident about their subject matter and carried a contagious excitement for education.
Year after year, I’ve gone back to this conference for the best professional development. Through following these educators on Twitter, I’ve had the opportunity to see their work long after ITEC completes. This has helped me see these professionals, who I viewed as education celebrities, as real people. This gave me the courage to make it a professional goal to join them on the presentation stage someday.
Two years ago I submitted my thesis material to ITEC and had the opportunity to have my data on display outside of the main ballroom. I spent a couple of hours informally presenting my research to educators stopping by and wondering about iPads in the classroom. My research compared writing with paper and pencil vs. iPads.
This year, my friend Tracie encouraged me to apply to one of the hour-long presentation slots. We brainstormed a few ideas and settled on “Making Writing Come Alive”.
It was selected!
Session Description: Motivate your students to improve their writing by connecting with people outside the classroom. Using Weebly or other blog platforms, Aurasma, and even collaborating with local news organizations increases student engagement.
After I shared the exciting news that my session was selected, I went to bed that night thinking “What did I get myself into?” “This is going to be a lot of work!” While those thoughts remain, I’m doing my best to set the negativity aside and remember this is a professional goal that will help stretch me and build my confidence in the classroom.
I’m thankful that after eight years in the classroom, my desire to be a better teacher has never been stronger. I know I could improve in a lot of areas, and I’m looking forward to ITEC again this year to help give me more efficient ways to reach my students each day.